When Did Selling Become Bad for Business?

By Christian Klacko, Cofounder and COO, Micronotes

This week I attended a webinar with an interesting premise: It used Netflix as an example of how to successfully engage digital customers. The presentation focused on how bankers can take some tips from the Netflix playbook to meet the needs of customers who rarely visit branches.

After the initial compliments for all things Netflix, the presenters showed a screen shot from an anonymous bank’s website. Thinking this could be a good example of how bankers can engage digital users, I was curious to see where the presentation was headed.

I was quite surprised to hear one of the presenters say “Here’s an example of what not to do,” as she went on to say it didn’t matter which bank website she showed, because “of the hundreds of websites that we’ve gone through… a lot of them are virtually the same.”

She leveled the criticism that “95 percent [of bank websites] are focused on getting customers to online banking, and then beyond that to upsell and cross-sell and get them to those opportunities. So, the website for many is being used for selling, and not for transactions or support.”

What type of business is interested in selling products and services to its customers? Just every one I’ve ever worked for or engaged with!

Of course, providing easy access on your website to whatever information the visitor seeks is a good idea. But in a webinar aimed at bankers—who universally struggle to engage with customers they seldom see—being critical of efforts to drive revenue growth by also focusing on selling really misses the mark.